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STEP program travels to DC

The Wooster campus Second Year Transformational Experience Program returned to Washington DC with a new crop of second-year students over spring break in March. Organized by Wooster STEP coordinator Penny Nemitz, 12 students made the journey to Washington DC this spring. Student attendees were:

Jacob Stiltner, Bryce Bennett, Carmen Corcoran, Zoe Leist, Caleb Scott, Trenton Horner, Grace Mellott, Hollee Oswalt, Ellen Fuller, Campbel Warrington, Izabelle Gray and Leliana Weikert

Students departed on the red-eye Amtrak from Alliance, Ohio at 3 am and arrived in DC at noon. The students enjoyed the fine hospitality of the Capitol Hill Hotel and mastered the transit system of the nation’s capital in short order as these same students were given the task of leading the troupe on daily excursions to the various museums.

On Friday night, the students were treated to a bus tour of the monuments. Stopping and taking in the enormity of Washington DC. Saturday saw the students visit the Holocaust Museum in the morning, which was a truly humbling experience. That afternoon, students joined STEP mentors Dr. Dan Linden at the Natural History Museum and Dr. Eric Williams at the National Gallery for guided tours of immersive history and amazing artworks, where once again he was thought to be a tour guide by others not in our group. Sunday saw the students visit the African American History Museum and the Museum of Native American History before wrapping up on Monday morning at the Spy Museum, a favorite location from last year.

The stellar success of last year’s trip to Washington DC was not lost on other regional campus programs. STEP Wooster was delighted that STEP Marion and STEP Lima joined our students for the trip this year. This provided students from all two regional campuses and CFAES/Wooster ATI the opportunity to meet each other and to share experiences as more than just regional students, but as a family of Buckeyes. Dr. Linden stated, “Meeting the other students and mentors from the Marion and Lima campuses was a fantastic experience for our students and for ourselves as STEP staff members. It afforded us the unique opportunity to work with our colleagues across the regionals and to foster cooperation and

communication for students from vastly different backgrounds and campuses. It was great to expose our students to the myriad cultures and histories that live at these amazing museums”. This sentiment was mirrored by several students who appreciated the opportunity that STEP provided them to make this trip, one that some students may never get again or would have ever had without the program or the hard work of the Wooster campus coordinator.

And while the adventures of Washington DC trailed behind the Amtrak train the students left on to return home that Monday afternoon, the experience was far from over. Joined by the students and staff from STEP Marion and STEP Lima, STEP Wooster students and staff occupied the dining car for hours on the trek home. Students played cards, laughed raucously, and shared their experiences as Buckeyes with one another for hours. As quipped by Dr. Williams, “This is what STEP does so well….it broadens, exposes, teaches, and leads students to find the best versions of themselves, versions many of them never knew existed but they meet for the first time through our program."

Step 1 MLK
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Step 4 whole group